Baby care - Health care - sponge bath Baby care - Health care - sponge bath

Baby sponge bath

Young babies don’t need bathing very often. They don’t get dirty in the way older, crawling babies do. You can keep your baby clean and fresh by giving baby a sponge bath, also known as a ‘top and tail’. It’s also handy for older babies if you are away or even if you just run out of time for the full bath routine. It is recommended to sponge bath your newborn until the umbilical cord stump falls off — which might take up to three weeks.

 All the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Either a facecloth, some cotton wool or two soft clean cloths

  • Bowl or sink with warm water

  • Hand towel for drying

  • A fresh nappy and clean clothes, if necessary

  • Bin or bucket for waste 

How to give a sponge bath:

  • Wash your hands. Lie your baby down on his back, either on your lap, a changing mat or somewhere clean, dry and warm. For an older child, have them sit on your lap or stand next to you.

  • Undress baby, leaving only the nappy on.

  • Wipe your baby’s face, neck and ears with a damp facecloth or some cotton wool.

  • Dry with more cotton wool or a dry soft towel.

  • If your baby has a ‘sticky eye’, clogged up with dried mucus, wipe each eye from the inside corner to the outside, using a piece of cotton wool dipped in cooled, boiled water (use a clean piece of cotton wool for each eye and wipe only once with each ball).

  • Now wipe the underarms and hands with a facecloth, cotton wool or cloth, and dry with a towel.

  • Take off the nappy. With a newborn, wash any dried discharge that may have come from the cord stump.

  • Wash the bottom and the genitals well. Wipe girls from front to back. Pat them dry.

  • Massage your baby with baby lotion to soothe and relax your little one for bed time.

  • Place a clean nappy on your baby, and dress him.